Solidarity action held in Sydney to support anti-omnibus law protesters

Press Release – October 9, 2020
Solidarity action at Indonesian Consulate General in Sydney – October 9, 2020 (Facebook)

Veronica Koman, Sydney – In response to the recent enactment of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation and the wave of demonstrations against the law across Indonesia, trade union representatives and activists held a solidarity action opposing the Omnibus Law in front of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Sydney between 1-2 pm local time on October 9.

The number of participants attending the solidarity action – which was limited due to Covid-19 health protocol stipulations – was organised by Veronica Koman and the Sydney branch of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).

Also present were representatives from the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA), solidarity organisations and other activists.

The following are statements by individuals and organisations supporting the event.

Veronica Koman

"Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of workers, students and other groups who over these last several days have taken to the streets in the face of police brutality for the sake of fighting for justice for the ordinary people. There must be an investigation into the excessive use of force by police against demonstrators. I call on other Indonesian citizens who are overseas to hold similar solidarity actions opposing the Omnibus Law in their respective cities".

Paul Keating, MUA

"The Maritime Union of Australia stands in solidarity with the struggle by ordinary working people in Indonesia against the Omnibus Law which takes away workers' rights. The current upsurge in struggle by labour groups in Indonesia is an inspiration for working people everywhere, particularly in Australia, because we are neighbours. We cannot just watch passively when governments take away workers' rights, because this is also a human right".

Jagath Bandara, ITF

"The ITF fully supports the current fight by workers in Indonesia, particularly in opposing the Omnibus Law. Our affiliates throughout the region and the globe have sent letters of protest to the Indonesian president to convey our dissatisfaction with the rushed parliamentary process [to enact the law]. This is not how democracy works. We therefore urge the Indonesian president to cancel the Omnibus Law".

Kate Lee, APHEDA

"Indonesia is currently suffering as a consequence of Covid-19. The Indonesian government's move which will make things even more difficult for the ordinary people by taking advantage of this health crisis [to pass the Omnibus Law] makes no sense whatsoever. We stand in solidarity with workers in Indonesia".

Vivian Honan, Solidarity

"We stand in solidarity with workers in Indonesia who are currently fighting the Omnibus Law. In Australia, we face the same problems related to job insecurity and wage cuts. We take inspiration from and stand in full solidarity with the movement which is currently taking to the streets in Indonesia".

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aksi Solidaritas dari Buruh di Australia: Tolak Omnibus Law".]